Parking can be complicated but over the past 10 years, we’ve learned the essential components for solving this age-old problem. In part 1 of this automotive UI/UX design series, we’ll explore the most important pain points that automakers need to solve for drivers when creating a parking service.
FOCUS ON SOLVING THE MOST IMPORTANT PARKING PAIN POINTS:
Create an Experience to Help Your Customers Save Time, Money and Stress When Parking
While traffic congestion and the resulting economic cost are well known, the impact of parking, which inflicts a similar burden on drivers and the economy, is understudied. Drivers face numerous obstacles to a frictionless parking experience like crowded lots, overpriced parking, and confusing parking signs. The good news is that INRIX has the data, tools, and partnerships that automakers need to provide a painless parking experience from start to finish.
INRIX Research’s “Parking Pain Study” identified the Top 3 parking-related pain points for drivers:
Here are some examples of how you can leverage our parking data and technology to save drivers time, money and stress.
Designing a Parking Experience to Help Drivers SAVE TIME:
Studies have shown that 30% of urban congestion is caused by drivers looking for parking. This isn’t caused by a lack of parking but rather by a lack of parking information.
Integrate Parking Availability Data:
When you’re in a rush, most people don’t like the hassle of finding a parking lot and usually end up trying to find street parking within walking distance to their destination. During peak demand, this can be an impossible task but by leveraging INRIX Parking, it’s easy to guide drivers to the streets where they have the highest likelihood of finding an open street spot.
For example, check out BMW’s time-saving On-Street Parking Information Service(OSPI) powered by INRIX On-Street Parking, which combines big data from millions of sources with our on-street parking database and predictive algorithms.
BMW chose to display our predictive parking availability data as two different shades of blue lines to reflect their brand: dark blue indicates the highest probability and light blue indicates a medium probability of finding street parking. They could have complicated the experience by showing many different types of date but kept it simple for a simplified parking experience.
BMW provides another cool feature for drivers to find available parking called OpenSpot. This feature displays circular icons to alert drivers to nearby BMWs that have vacated a spot. A timer counts down to give drivers an idea of how recently the spot has become available.
Parking is perishable so guiding drivers to available parking is critical.
Designing A Parking Experience To Help Drivers SAVE MONEY:
While wasting time searching for parking is a major problem, the second largest issue is wasting money. Drivers waste money on parking in numerous ways, but the Top 3 that can be solved by automakers are:
1) Not Understanding Complicated Parking Rates (Results in overpayment)
2) Parking at an Overpriced Lot Compared to Other Available Options
3) Not Understanding Complicated Parking Restriction Signs (Results in Expensive Ticket)
INRIX Rate & Restriction Calculator Solves All 3 Issues to Help Drivers Save Money:
The lack of a standard parking rate structure makes it difficult for drivers to compare lot rates. The parking rate sign below is from a parking garage in New York City and is actually a pretty simple sign by NYC standards. Most drivers feel clueless about how much they’ll end up paying but INRIX has an innovative tool to help automakers make it easy.
To solve this, we created a Rate & Restriction Calculator tool that decodes complicated parking rates to help drivers easily compare options and figure out how much they’ll have to pay for specific time periods. This tool leverages Natural Language Processing, to parking turn complicated parking rates into easy-to-understand information.
The rate calculation feature shows drivers how much they’ll pay for the duration. When routing to a destination, drivers should be asked how long they’ll be staying, then display only the total cost for the closest parking options. Drivers can quickly compare their options to save time and money.
Visit our consumer-facing ParkMe website to try our Rate & Restriction Calculator for yourself.
In the below example we changed the parking duration to 4 hours for an easy “apples to apples” comparison of all the lots in the area. You can see numerous lots jump up to over $60 but one stays at only $14. In this situation, automakers can help a driver save over $50 by leveraging our rate calculation technology!
Rate & Restriction Calculator Also Translates Complicated Parking Restrictions Into User-Friendly Information
Help Drivers Understand Parking Restrictions to Avoid Costly Parking Tickets
Finding street parking can be difficult in itself, but decoding a parking sign’s restrictions can be even more of a daunting task. Misreading a sign can also lead to a costly parking ticket or even worse, end up with your car being towed.
Look at the two examples below and see if you can figure out if you’re allowed to park there right now (and if so, for how long)? Most drivers would just give up and avoid parking in this spot altogether but imagine if your car could automatically decipher and inform the driver before they arrive?! INRIX has the power to do this too.
Check out our Rate & Restriction Calculator in action below. In this example, it’s parsing parking signage to show users where they are currently allowed to park and for how long.
The grey line segments mean “NO PARKING.” As the duration is changed from 1 hour to 8 hours, more streets turn grey because some streets have a 2 hours max.
The parking spot on Euclid St is restricted to drivers with a residential permit during the daytime which would result in an uninformed driver getting a $100 parking ticket. With the power of INRIX Parking, this driver could have easily seen that there were plenty of other legal options to park and avoid a parking fine.
We recommend also including a “Can I Park Here” feature to tell drivers if they are legally parked without having to analyze complicated signs. Additionally, this information could be integrated into a companion app to remind drivers when they need to move their car to avoid a costly ticket.
Parking can be costly so try to design an experience that helps drivers quickly understand parking signs and easily compare nearby options to save them money.
Designing A Parking Experience To REDUCE STRESS:
Nothing is more stressful than arriving at an important meeting on time, only to end up being late when you can’t find parking — yet this still happens to millions of drivers every day. A vehicle’s ability to quickly and efficiently navigate drivers to an open parking spot is an essential part of creating a stress-free driving experience.
Make Parking Top-Of-Mind, Not An Afterthought:
Integrate Parking Into The Entire Navigation Experience
Instead of supplying pins on a map, automakers should integrate parking into the entire navigation experience to automatically help drivers find, compare and navigate to the best parking available. INRIX Parking Path™ is the perfect solution for automakers to provide a stress-free last mile for drivers.
INRIX Parking Path is the only service available that integrates traffic, incident and parking availability data to guide drivers along a route to find the best available parking near their destination.
BMW’s Park-Search-Route (displayed below) leverages INRIX Parking Path technology and is the perfect example of a stress-free parking experience.
When drivers approach their destination they can either choose to continue along the traditional route or let it suggest and guide them to the best parking spaces in the area. The Park-Search-Route option guides drivers along the fastest route to find parking to give them more clarity about their total travel time.
Keep It Simple – Make Sure Only The Most Important Data Is Displayed
When drivers are in a rush, they don’t want to be overwhelmed with excessive amounts of information on the map. BMW did a great job of keeping this experience simple for drivers to take the thinking out of finding a spot.
Rather than displaying every type of parking information, they only show streets where drivers will have the best chance of finding a parking spot. The Park-Search-Route feature takes simplicity to a new level by just giving navigating drivers along the best route to find a spot depending on their parking preferences.
Check out the new BMW 3-Series commercial below that features INRIX Parking to see what a stress-free, simplified parking experience looks like:
That wraps up Part 1, but check back for Part 2 to learn about additional UI/UX tips to design the ultimate driving experience.